≡ Menu

Egypt Arrests Israeli Activist Traveling to Gaza

andrei pshenichnikov

Arrested Israeli anti-Occupation activist, Andrei Pshenichnikov, who renounced Israeli citizenship and attempted to move to Gaza

Last summer, after leaving IDF service, Andrei Pshenichnikov, age 24, underwent a radical political conversion.  He began working with anti-Occupation groups and decided to renounce his Israeli citizenship.  Further, he actually moved to the Deheisha refugee camp outside Bethlehem and took up jobs working for a hotel and construction there.

But the Shabak grew suspicious of him and directed Palestinian security forces to arrest him.  The Palestinians transferred him to IDF custody.  Under interrogation, they accused him of belonging to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.  After his release, with the understanding he would return to his familiy home in Bat Yam, he actually returned to the West Bank.

He was rearrested and detained for eight days when he refused to post bail because he refused to recognize the authority of the Israeli court.  His passports were confiscated, which prevented him from traveling–or so the security forces thought.

But Pshenichnikov (I believe) determined to get out from under Israeli authority and hatched a plan to enter Gaza via Egypt.  There he would be truly out from under the thumb of Israel and its security forces.  He crossed the border at Taba.  Later he was arrested.  He called his mother and told her about his arrest.  When friends called his cell phone, Egyptian police answered and questioned the friends about whether they supported Hamas.  The authorities variously told them that he was being detained at Rafiach or Port Said.

Based on this information, I’m guessing the Pshenichnikov had told the police that he wanted to go to Gaza.  The Egyptians didn’t know what to make of this.

My confidential Israeli source was told by an Egyptian official last night that Pshenichnikov was being interrogated in Nueiba (close to Taba).  The police there, he was told, believed that the anti-Occupation activist was actually an Israeli agent.  My source, who himself has connections in the Israeli political, military and intelligence echelons, passed on a message from a senior Israeli official that the detainee was not an Israeli agent and that Israel’s intelligence community would never recruit someone with such political views.

Though I believe they would recruit such a person if they thought they could turn him, I don’t believe any Israeli intelligence official would reasonably expect he could turn an IDF soldier who’d grown disgusted with the military and Israeli society in general, and become a radical anti-Zionist.

Historically, Israel has sent agents to live in Palestinian communities.  This Ynet story is a fascinating portrait of an absolutely bizarre 1952 Shabak program which infiltrated 10 Iraqi Jews into Israeli Palestinian communities, where they were expected to report on subversive or dangerous elements in case there was another war between Israel and the Arab nations.  The agents assumed false Palestinian identities, married Palestinian women, and had children with them.

Ten years later, after the program was deemed a failure, the Shabak told the men they were cancelling it.  The agents refused to abandon their wives and families.  The intelligence agency called all the women to France and told them their husbands were not who they thought they were.  After much psychological disturbance, most of them moved to Israel, assumed identities as Jews, and their children were declared converted to Judaism by the chief rabbi.  However, there was great and ongoing psychological trauma for both the wives and the children.  Chalk it up to yet another outrageous experiment with fragile human souls for dubious benefits.  The wages of the national security state are permanent, ongoing personal trauma.

Returning to Pshenichnikov, he  clearly had a wild-eyed plan one might expect from a 24 year-old.  I don’t know how Hamas would react to an Israeli Jew seeking to live among Palestinians in Gaza.  Even if they accepted him, he would presumably be a kidnap target for groups more radical than Hamas.  Life for him wouldn’t be very comfortable or secure.

But I have to admire his commitment to his values.  Most Israelis who’d grown disenchanted with their society would emigrate to Europe or the U.S.  The Russian-Israeli deliberately rejected the easy way.  He wanted to remain in the region in order to try to undo the damage of the Occupation which he and his fellow Israelis had inflicted.  His predicament is tragic in a sense.  He can’t remain in Israel nor will it probably be safe for him in Gaza.

Perhaps the best that he can hope for is a negotiated arrangement with the Shabak that allows him to live unmolested in the West Bank.  The problem is that Pshenichnikov has made a very public rejection of Israel and embrace of life in Palestine.  This is the sort of provocation that gets the Shabak’s dander up.

There are other Israelis who live in the West Bank.  But they do so much more quietly and don’t make public their disgust with Israel.  They don’t live in refugee camps or thumb their noses at the Shabak.  Perhaps the activist will figure out a modus vivendi that will allow him to share their life in Palestine.

Bufferfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedintumblrmail
youtube
{ 43 comments… add one }
  • Joel January 1, 2013, 4:13 AM

    A lost soul, like John Walker Lindh, the American Taliban.

    • Richard Silverstein January 1, 2013, 12:42 PM

      “Lost,” I presume because he rejected the ideology that underpins your society. That only means lost to you. But then again, your own society is looking rather lost these days.

      Unlike John Walker Lindh, Andrei never took up arms against his country. Andrei has set a totally appropriate moral model of opposition to Israeli policy and ideology. It might not be the path I would choose, but it is principled nonetheless.

      • Davey January 1, 2013, 7:52 PM

        On the contrary, he gained a soul.

      • Joel January 1, 2013, 9:18 PM

        Yediot Ahronot, quoting Egyptian sources, reports that the young man planned to enter Gaza in order to fight alongside Palestinian militants.

        • Richard Silverstein January 1, 2013, 10:04 PM

          If Yediot told you the moon was made out of green cheese, you’d believe them. The idea that Yediot would have a reliable Egyptian source when Israeli media know almost nothing about internal developments inside Egypt & have no sources there, renders this ludicrous.

          • Daniel F January 3, 2013, 12:41 AM

            Richard,
            How then do we explain the following…….

            “I hate Zionism … I want to be part of the Palestinian resistance,” Pshenichnikov told The Associated Press. “I call for other Israelis who support the existence of a state of Palestine to do the same, to come live in the West Bank or Gaza as Palestinians.”

            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/14/andre-pshenichnikov-ex-israeli-soldier-palestinian-citizenship_n_1595937.html

            “In the IDF, Pshenichnikov served as a computer programmer, but also performed guard duties in the West Bank. Today, Pshenichnikov rejects Zionism and says his views are close to those of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.”

            http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/israel-detains-ex-idf-soldier-accused-of-ties-to-palestinian-terror-group-1.436485

          • Richard Silverstein January 3, 2013, 2:06 AM

            “Palestinian resistance” can mean many things. It doesn’t have to mean armed resistance as you mistakenly believe.

          • mary January 3, 2013, 12:30 PM

            Many people, including myself, are part of the Palestinian resistance and we never pick up a gun. Anyone who helps the people, including providing humanitarian assistance, education, political activism, is part of the resistance. The BDS is part of the resistance.

          • Reasonable Fella January 4, 2013, 6:27 AM

            You might never pick up a gun yourself, but do you support those who do?
            If so, then the distinction doesn’t really matter – you’re all part of the same system that manufactures terror.

          • Richard Silverstein January 4, 2013, 6:19 PM

            Actually, you’re part of a much larger system that manufactures terror. It’s called the IDF…and you’re not so reasonable, fella.

    • SimoHurtta January 1, 2013, 2:39 PM

      In the 30′s some in Germany would have called Herbert Frahm “a lost sole”. Later Herbert Frahm was known by the name Willy Brandt.

  • Deïr Yassin January 1, 2013, 6:19 AM

    Andrei Pshenichnikov is a true hero, and his personal journey – from Tadjikistan via Russia and Israel to Palestine – one that should be widely known.
    When he was arrested in the West Bank by the Shabak last spring, he said that he’d come to the conclusion that Israel represented Western interests in the Middle East and that Zionism had cynically (mis)used the Jewish faith. He stated “I hate Zionism…. I wanted to be part of the Palestinian resistance (…) I call for other Israelis who support the existence of a state of Palestine to do the same, to come to live in the West Bank or Gaza as Palestinians” (cf. article Ira Glunts, Mondoweiss June 15th, link Ynetnews and Haaretz June 14th by Nir Hasson).

    @ Richard: when you write “his passports were confiscated which prevented him from traveling”, I’m not sure if this is correct. After his second arrest in the West Bank last spring/summer by the Israelis, Andrei travelled to Europe and spent some time in Paris where he was interviewed by PressTV. He shows his Israeli passport in the interview.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCRU2-adDy4
    According to Times of Israel, he entered Egypt illegally, was arrested and handed over to the Israelis who kept him several days and only released him on condition that he hand over his passports. He then jumped the border again :-)
    Long live Andrei !

    • Daniel F January 1, 2013, 10:07 AM

      @Deïr Yassin
      “Andrei Pshenichnikov is a true hero”…..
      ……well, he certainly has the courage of his convictions but as Richard pointed out…..’Even if they accepted him, he would presumably be a kidnap target for groups more radical than Hamas. Life for him wouldn’t be very comfortable or secure”……which is all too true.
      The world needs more heroes who understand the importance of working for what they believe in versus dying for what they believe in.
      Andrei Pshenichnikov could do more by staying in Israel and joining those who work for justice, including an enlightened policy toward the Palestinians ,if not for the sake of the Palestinians then for the sake of a future Israel where Jews can live in peace and respect. No disrespect of the Palestinian people is intended by my words,rather the expression of my conviction that until such time that Palestinians can live in peace and respect in the land between the sea and the river, Jews in the same land will not be able to truly do so either.

      • Deïr Yassin January 1, 2013, 11:48 AM

        @ Daniel
        You’re projecting YOUR ideals on that guy ! You want him to stay in Israel and work for a better Israel, “if not for the sake of the Palestinians then for the sake of a future Israel where Jews can live in respect and peace”.
        Don’t you get it ? This guy rejects Israel all together, he didn’t made aliyah as a adult (if you know what I’m hinting at ….), but was brought there by his parents who left Tadjikistan for Russia before going off to Israel. It didn’t seem to be Zionism that draw them either. After only a short time in Israel, still as a teenager, he realized that Zionism sucks, and was totally marginalized during his military service.
        It’s not mentioned in this interview, but when in France, he went to the Israeli embassy to start a procedure of “denaturalization” and was told that it’s a very long process, and that he needed a permission from the French authorities. By the way, I not sure his life isn’t as much in danger in Israel with the political views he has expressed such as feeling close to the PFLP.

        He’s my Israeli of the Year 2012 :-)) together with Yaniv Mazor, and a couple of others who refused to serve in the IDF.

        • Daniel F January 3, 2013, 1:09 AM

          @Deïr Yassin

          1) “You’re projecting YOUR ideals on that guy ! “………….True!

          2) “You want him to stay in Israel and work for a better Israel”….I do not “want” him to do anything but in my opinion his time would be be better served by working with others to correct that which is wrong within Israel, but that is my opinion.

          3) “Don’t you get it ? This guy rejects Israel all together”…..O.K. That is his right, although I do not understand why he signed up for and served an additional 18 months in the IDF.
          “……enlisting as a computer programmer in the army’s signals corps, and even served an additional year and a half as a career soldier.”
          http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/14/andre-pshenichnikov-ex-israeli-soldier-palestinian-citizenship_n_1595937.html

          I also do not accept the following, which to is betrayal and unacceptable……
          “I hate Zionism … I want to be part of the Palestinian resistance,” Pshenichnikov told The Associated Press. “I call for other Israelis who support the existence of a state of Palestine to do the same, to come live in the West Bank or Gaza as Palestinians.”………also from the Huffingtonpost.

          “…Pshenichnikov rejects Zionism and says his views are close to those of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.”
          http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/israel-detains-ex-idf-soldier-accused-of-ties-to-palestinian-terror-group-1.436485

          If he wants to reject Zionism, let him go his way in peace but not betray.
          I am reminded of the words of John le Carre………..” Love is whatever you can still betray. Betrayal can only happen if you love.”

          • Deïr Yassin January 3, 2013, 3:36 PM

            You want this guy to “go his way in peace” so you can continue your Zionist dream or whatever, but he sees Zionism as an oppressive ideology that has to be opposed.
            ‘Betrayal’, you say ? Yeah, I’m sure some White guys said the same thing about other Whites who fought alongside Blacks during Jim Crow.
            We’ll just fix your sentence, right: “If he wants to reject Nazism, let him go his way but not betray”: that’s what you would have advised a German in the ’30′s ? If you act according to your inner convictions and do so to fight injustice, how can you even think of using the word ‘betrayal’ ? Did Goldstone betray ‘his people’ too, according to you ? Mordechai Vanunu ?

            You contradict yourself. First, you consider his acts betrayal. Then you quote John Le Carre: “Betrayal can only happen if you love”. Andrei P. stated that he hates Zionism so according to your own ‘philosopher’ this can’t be betrayal. You’re just pissed off by this young Russian who doesn’t buy your fairytale. As Andrei tells about his kibbutz in the interview that I posted: did you ever notice ruins of Palestinian villages around where you live ??

      • Richard Silverstein January 1, 2013, 12:46 PM

        You’ve got it precisely wrong. Until Jews can live in peace and respect with the hundreds of millions of Arabs in the Mideast, and specifically the Palestinians who live among and around them, no one in the region will be able to have peace. That may mean the radical shrinking of the original Jewish Zionist vision of national self determination for Jews in Israel. But if this occurs you will have only yourselves to blame for your blindness, rejectionism, and refusal to compromise.

        • Daniel F January 3, 2013, 1:35 AM

          Richard,
          Sorry, but I did not make my comment sufficiently clear……”my conviction that until such time that Palestinians can live in peace and respect in the land between the sea and the river, Jews in the same land will not be able to truly do so either.”

          My intention was to say that until such time that Palestinians are enabled to live in peace and respect in the land between the sea and the river, Jews in the same land will not be able to truly live in peace and respect there either.”

          Settlers in “Yehuda & Shomron” try to project an idyllic image of “Look! see how what we are doing actually works!”
          ,trying to ignore the Palestinians who live among them as if they were merely part of the landscape.
          While I am sympathetic toward the idealism and hard work of many of those settlers, while I was impressed by their contribution and dedication that I witnessed while serving in the IDF, while I respect their efforts to preserve Jewish and Zionist values in Israel, their presence in”Yehuda & Shomron” cannot justify the continued and unjust repression of Palestinians in the their homeland and the Settler’s use of political power to shape an Israel to their liking.

          • Richard Silverstein January 3, 2013, 2:05 AM

            I think we agree on some of what you said. I don’t share your admiration for settler “idealism.” I’m not sure what sort of “presence” you’re willing to grant those settlers, but if you’re willing to say they need to go in order to resolve the dispute, then we agree. If you maintain they should stay despite the injustice & repression you noted that was involved in their presence, then we continue to disagree I’m afraid.

  • mary January 1, 2013, 9:58 AM

    I don’t think Andrei would necessarily be in any particular danger, if he has good friends in Gaza. I know one American Jew who spent many months in Gaza writing his blog, and it was his good friend, Vittorio Arrigoni, who was kidnapped.

    Today’s news in Egypt carries another story of an alleged Israeli spy having been detained as well.

  • Reasonable Fella January 1, 2013, 10:38 AM

    Let’s hope Egyptian authorities release him soon. Poor boy.

  • Fred Plester January 1, 2013, 11:22 AM

    Hum.
    The sort of wild-eyed plan you’d expect of a 24 year old, is actually what one would expect of a 14 year old, and a 24 year old ought normally to be pretty mature, sensible, and paying off some pretty crippling student loans.

    Richard, I think you’re judging youth from a teensy bit too distant a perspective and you shouldn’t see most 24 year olds as immature. The police and courts aren’t going to.

    What the IDF has done, of course, is claim very piously that he’s not a spy, whilst making sure that no-one in Egypt or Gaza remains unaware of the possibility that he might be, so it would now be a bit too dangerous for him to proceed.

    Perhaps if he really wants an end to the occupation, he should go to the USA and campaign against the Casino industry.

    • mary January 2, 2013, 2:12 AM

      Oh, I don’t know how immature this makes him. Swimming against the tide does not mean a young person is immature or foolish, on the contrary it denotes great courage and independence. He is following his heart, which is no differerent than what the young people of Breaking the Silence have done. He has also recognized that it is impossible for him to live comfortably inside of Israel and has chosen to live where he can be free to live the life he chooses.

      We demand no less from any high school student, that they choose a career. Andrei has chosen his. There is no saying he “should” go here, or do that. Why is his choice to live in Palestine so repugnant to you?

      • Fred Plester January 2, 2013, 9:10 AM

        I missed the bit where I described his decision are repugnant.
        But I do think it would be unwise to go there now the IDF has successfully sown seeds of doubt as to his motivation.
        Nor is my last line really in jest, because it’s business dancing on the border between legitimacy and organized crime in the USA, which funds the political campaigns which force the US Taxpayer to fund the occupation.

        Sheldon Adelson pours in a hundred million dollars, because he has several times that and his wealth is constantly being replaced by Americans with gambling addictions, and because spending millions of dollars on the GOP leads to billions of dollars being sent to support his cause.

        Sustained scrutiny and pressure on sources and destinations of Adelson, Reitman and Trump wealth, might actually change the world in the way he seems to want. Getting himself done over or killed, won’t.

    • mary January 2, 2013, 2:12 AM

      Oh, I don’t know how immature this makes him. Swimming against the tide does not mean a young person is immature or foolish, on the contrary it denotes great courage and independence. He is following his heart, which is no different than what the young people of Breaking the Silence have done. He has also recognized that it is impossible for him to live comfortably inside of Israel and has chosen to live where he can be free to live the life he chooses.

      We demand no less from any high school student, that they choose a career. Andrei has chosen his. There is no saying he “should” go here, or do that. Why is his choice to live in Palestine so repugnant to you?

  • Dr. Ibrahim Soudy January 2, 2013, 9:49 AM

    - Will Israel become sane if a Jew decided to go live in Gaza?
    - How did he get into Egypt WITHOUT a passport?
    - If he wants to help the Palestinians then why not go to the US and become a factor in changing the attitude of Americans about the Aparteid Jewish State? After all, we know that Israel does what it does because of the full backing of America! America is an Israeli-Occupied-Territory (Mental Occupation) so if he wants to help the Palestinians, America is the place to be….

  • Davey January 3, 2013, 8:12 PM

    It is worth noting that a number of comments use the word “really” about this guy’s motives, e.g. if he “really” wants to help, etc., and then offers advice on how to do this, or not. If anything — the young man has made it crystal clear what he wants and how he is going to participate. That should be the end of it.

    Daniel F. is sympathetic but his grammar nonetheless suggests some condescension toward the other side. I think it is clear that Israel, the Zionist State, is the disruptive and foreign element in the ME. It is the irritant, not “Arabs” as such. As for peace, Israel controls the game, period. IF there is no peace, it is so by Israel’s choosing. This seems to me simple and clear. I think it should be obvious ….and it is to many outside of Israel and looking in. But to Israelis, it does not appear obvious, not obvious how their government has avoided peace and compromise by exploiting and expanding the inherent anxiety (traceable perhaps to the anxiety of foreigners in a native land.) It must be very hard for Israelis to understand the other side’s despair and outrage even after all these decades. It is hard to step outside one’s world view but it is possible. On the other hand, it is all to easy to complain to the world about “terrorism” as though Israel had no hand in creating this inexplicable behavior!

    If an Israeli answers that he/she were born there in the ME, this Israeli should imagine then how a Palestinian feels who was also born there as were his forebears for a thousand years or more!

    • Daniel F. January 4, 2013, 1:45 AM

      @ Davey,
      Sir,
      1) ” I think it is clear that Israel, the Zionist State, is the disruptive and foreign element in the ME.”……..Israel’s presence in the ME has
      indeed been disruptive for her neighbors but does that fact, in and of itself, negate Israel’s right to exist.

      2) “As for peace, Israel controls the game, period.”…….The suggestion that any one side, to any conflict, totally controls the game is
      simply not realistic.The Palestinians,as others in the region, have shown their ability to significantly change the game.

      3) “IF there is no peace, it is so by Israel’s choosing.”………The blame game!….. If there is no peace then Israel is to blame!……
      …….the Camp David Summit in 2000 never took place……..
      http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2002/jun/13/camp-david-and-after-an-exchange-1-an-interview-wi/
      Can any one side to a conflict make peace unilaterally. Did the May 2000 unilateral withdrawal from Lebanon make peace with
      Hezbollah. Did the August 2005 unilateral disengagement from Gaza make peace with the Palestinians of Gaza.
      I admit that the current Israeli government as led by Bibi Netanyahu does not make a reasonable effort to attain peace (through
      compromise as is necessary) and that the current Israeli government appears to believe in creating facts on the ground that will shape
      and predetermine any future end to the conflict in Israel’s favor. I believe that this is an fundamentally flawed and shortsighted policy.

      4) “…..how their government has avoided peace and compromise by exploiting and expanding the inherent anxiety”…….True, but who
      could blame any Israeli Jews for being anxious when he repeatedly hears the incitement permitted by the Palestinian Authority as
      exemplified by the Palestinian Authority Mufti in Jerusalem who in January 2012, publicly read out an Islamic Hadith that says killing
      Jews will speed up the redemption.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDoV8ZL9Xkc

      5) “It must be very hard for Israelis to understand the other side’s despair and outrage even after all these decades. It is hard to step
      outside one’s world view but it is possible.”…………..I agree.

  • mary January 4, 2013, 12:29 AM

    Will someone kindly explain to me why what this young man has done is so terrible? It’s the most concrete and tangible action for peace that I’ve ever seen. Imagine if more people did it, just put the guns down, thought to themselves about the truth, that reaching out to one’s enemies is the only “road” to peace. Of course, Israel will do its best to portray him as a traitor and will claim he wanted to fire rockets at Israel alongside Hamas, but it looks to me more he has found something spiritual that he needs – his identity or his destiny. Profound experiences can be had by living in the refugee camps; you don’t understand the Palestinian struggle until you step into their shoes and walk around in them. I do hope he makes it to Gaza.

  • Daniel F. January 4, 2013, 3:00 AM

    @Deïr Yassin

    1) “If he wants to reject Nazism, let him go his way but not betray”
    Zionism is not Nazism and the comparison is inherently unfair.
    If you want to criticize Zionism there are an infinite number of other ways to do so.

    2) Mordechai Vanunu betrayed his country. He abused his privileged access to state secrets.
    As for Goldstone, I do not believe that his report was fair.
    Richard Goldstone betrayed himself as a jurist, unfortunately there are many like him.

    3) “You contradict yourself. First, you consider his acts betrayal. Then you quote John Le Carre”
    We humans are ambivalent creatures, when we love, we also hate that which we love.
    In extreme situations we even want to harm that which we love.

    3) You’re just pissed off by this young Russian who doesn’t buy your fairytale.”
    Something about this young man simply does not add up,why carry his old military I.D. card with him.

    …..” Tareq Abu Sheikha, who rented Pshenichnikov a room for a month, said he was “suspicious and not honest.”
    Abu Sheikha said Pshenichnikov presented himself as a Russian foreign activist and was even seen throwing stones at Israeli soldiers during demonstrations. But he was also heard speaking in Hebrew on his phone and carried his old military I.D. card with him.
    “We don’t have a problem with any Israeli coming to be one of us. We’ll be honored and give them an I.D. card, but this young man was suspicious and he lied and that’s why we handed him to the Israelis,” he said.”
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/14/andre-pshenichnikov-ex-israeli-soldier-palestinian-citizenship_n_1595937.html

    5) “did you ever notice ruins of Palestinian villages around where you live ?? “
    I do not currently reside in Israel but yes, Sheik Munis , الشيخ موّنس ,שיח’ מוניס ….I knew of it years ago, an “undefined” area that
    overlooks the Ayalon highway, used to pass it every day on a shortcut to home from the university. I lived just below in Hadar Yosef.

    http://palestineremembered.com/Jaffa/al-Shaykh-Muwannis/index.html

    • mary January 4, 2013, 4:36 AM

      I have a very dear friend who is a Palestinian, and he speaks Hebrew. His Hebrew is, in fact, better than his Arabic because he grew up in Jerusalem among Jews. There is no crime in carrying an old military ID card, and in fact, if he had anything to hide he would have been prudent to throw it away. Quoting a landlord means nothing; the Shin Bet has ways of putting words in people’s mouths.

      Of course, to you a ruined Palestinian village is nothing more than an “undefined area.”

      “We humans are ambivalent creatures, when we love, we also hate that which we love.
      In extreme situations we even want to harm that which we love.”

      Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone magazine had a contest last November to see who could write the most like Tom Friedman. I think you just won.

      • Daniel F. January 4, 2013, 9:41 AM

        @ Mary,
        1) “There is no crime in carrying an old military ID card”……..of course it’s not a crime but it is suggestive as to his
        frame of mind, he wanted to renounce his citizenship of Israel but he kept his IDF soldier ID card on his person.

        2) “Of course, to you a ruined Palestinian village is nothing more than an “undefined area.” “………..Why “of course”?
        Why is an “undefined area” necessarily negative.The area has not assumed a new homogenous character, it’s
        partially a university parking lot, partially a Ministry of Defense building & partially houses from the Sheik Munis era.
        It has no unifying character, as if everybody took a bite of what was Sheik Munis.

        3)”…who could write the most like Tom Friedman. I think you just won.”…….Thank you, I thought that I had made a
        relatively mundane statement. All of us, to a greater or lesser degree, resent our dependance upon and non control
        over the things that we “love”. Could Andrei’s declared radical political conversion be somehow related to an inability
        to find satisfaction for his personal psychological needs in Israel. Could a personal relationship have been instrumental
        in his political conversion.I do not know but it appears to me to be very possible.
        Deïr Yassin suggested that I was projecting and she is right but perhaps we are all projecting here onto this
        canvas that is Andrei Pshenichnikov.

        • mary January 4, 2013, 10:30 AM

          Since we don’t know why he had no passports with him, perhaps that explains why he was carrying his military ID. Should he have been carrying nothing?

    • Deïr Yassin January 4, 2013, 5:07 PM

      I didn’t say Zionism is Nazism. I compared the right to opposing them, and by the same means.
      Andrei P. has explained elsewhere that he claimed to be Russian because he thought being an Israeli would create troubles. He was certainly a naive person, but I don’t see anything suspicious about him. The fact is that you’re simply incapable of understanding that someone would take the position he did. That’s why you persist talking about ‘critizising’ and won’t accept ‘fighting’ which can be by peaceful means.
      So Vanunu is a traitor ? Good to know. To many people, he’s a hero. And Goldstone too. Was he “betraying himself as a jurist” when he signed the report or when he retracted it ?

      Haha, I gave you the link to Palestineremembered. Good to see you use it though it hasn’t changed your point of view, or maybe your “not residing in Israel currently” is the burden of the ethnic cleansing becoming too heavy on your conscience ……
      TAU is actually situated on top of Shaykh Muwannis, and Dan Rabinovitz who’s a professor of anthropology there writes (2007) that the house of the Shaykh is actually some kind of University Social Club. Nearly as disgusting as the artist village of Ein Hod….

      • Daniel F. January 6, 2013, 7:18 PM

        @Deïr Yassin
        “Good to see you use it though it hasn’t changed your point of view”….I enjoyed browsing through the site which seeks to record & remember, which is something beautiful.
        As for changing my point of view, lets say that sites such as “Palestine remembered” and Tikun Olam have added depth to my point of view.
        Your comments here are unique, important and valued, you do your people proud.

    • Richard Silverstein January 4, 2013, 6:27 PM

      Pshenichnikov presented himself as a Russian foreign activist

      So he should tell the Palestinians that he’s an Israeli ex-IDF soldier? That would make them welcome him, wouldn’t it?

  • mary January 4, 2013, 10:26 AM

    “You might never pick up a gun yourself, but do you support those who do?
    If so, then the distinction doesn’t really matter – you’re all part of the same system that manufactures terror.”

    This may shock you, “Reasonable Fella,” but yes, I do. Under the Geneva Conventions a land or country under occupation has the right to armed resistance. What right do you claim that says the Palestinian people must get on their knees and submit to Israeli brutality?

    Terrorism? What do you call dropping one-ton bombs on civilian targets?

  • mary January 7, 2013, 12:23 AM

    Yesterday I heard this young man has been determined to be a Mossad agent by the Egyptian authorities, although I can’t find anything in English on it.

    • Richard Silverstein January 7, 2013, 1:04 AM

      I don’t know who does a worse job of it: Israeli authorities or Egyptian. If they think he’s a Mossad agent, they’re probably holdovers from the Mubarak regime.

      • mary January 7, 2013, 6:30 AM

        That is, of course, unless the truly amazing happened and Israel asked Egypt to send their boy back to them.

  • Deïr Yassin January 11, 2013, 5:34 AM

    A large group of French organizations – pro-palestinian activists, Palestinian, Muslim and Jewish organizations – and a number of left-wing political parties have signed a letter (January 7th) to the Egyptian authorities, testifying that Andrei Pshenichnikov is a dedicated and honest person who is fighting for justice for the Palestinians. By the way, he was on his way to Egypt to meet with French friends that he met during his many months in Paris earlier this year.
    The group is worried about Andrei’s security if he’s expelled to Israel, and ask the French President to grant him political asylum if he wishes so (source: Info-Palestine, in French only). Haha, François-the-pudding- Hollande would never dare so :-) It has been revealed by Le Monde Diplomatique’s Alain Gresh that Hollande’s personal ghost-writer (who wrote his speech in Toulouse when Bibi was here to commemorate the killing in the Jewish school) is a member of CRIF (the French AIPAC).

    • mary January 11, 2013, 6:13 AM

      Well, the prevailing opinion in my neck of the woods is that he is Mossad. I hope we hear soon, one way or the other. His French friends wouldn’t know just who he really is, nor would any Palestinian or Jewish organizations. Since he is still in custody this is not a good indication of his innocence. People I know in Gaza have told me how often this kind of thing happens, that people living in Gaza for years have turned out to be Mossad agents. It is very possible that the Gaza authorities have asked the Egyptians to hold on to him and investigate.

  • mary February 12, 2013, 10:33 AM

    This unfortunate young man’s story does not have a happy ending. He was sentenced yesterday to two years in prison here in Egypt.

    http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/64641.aspx

    “According to court sources, Pshenichnikov had failed to provide a convincing explanation as to why he had crossed into Egypt without proper documentation when he could have entered the country legally as a tourist.”

Leave a Comment